I have seen large sharks 3 times in southern Rhode Island waters, all from shore.
The first time, as a kid in the early [Pre-Jaws] 70s, my Dad had taken us fluke fishing off the jetty at Charleston Breachway. We saw a HUGE brown dorsal fin cruising just off the mouth of the breachway. This being early morning of a nice summer day, we informed the gate keeper that he had a big shark in his swimming beach. He replied totally unconcerned that they often saw the big brown ones but they never bothered anybody.
The second was maybe 10 years ago at Watch Hill Lighthouse. I was resting on the seawall on the east side watching the surfers and watching inside the breakers for fish. In the second wave out I spotted a HUGE brown dorsal fin cruising through the surge. The thing was right near the surfers and had to be in view to them, yet they all surfed on without sign of worry. I mentioned it to a couple of surfer dudes who were standing on the wall. Their response was amazingly similar to the one I heard years ago.
"We see 'em all the time!"
The surfers did mention to me that a riproarin bluefish blitz would clean the dudes outta the water quick!
The third sighting was also from shore at Watch Hill, off the point. As is often the case, there were large quantities of bluefish in the rip off the tip of the point. I stood on an outer rock with my heavy surf caster reaching WAY out for the blues. Suddenly large bluefish started rocketing out of the water like big missles. Something big and fast was boiling a BIG patch of water and adult bluefish were the target. This time not one but two big dorsals as well as big tail flukes were swirling around MUCH faster than the brown sharks ever swim. I don't know for sure but to me, from a distance, they looked like blue sharks. That was a very cool sighting. I walked back to shore from my distant rock VERY CAREFULLY!
It occurs to me writting this that the possible increase in the Great White population could make that Blase' attitude about sharks a bit risky.
I know I will react differently next time an old tree trunk rolls against my waders in a dark surf!
And Full Moon Skinny Dipping is WAY off the agenda!
As an aside, if memory serves, the worst great white attacks ever on the east coast occured in New Jersey where a Serial Human Eater took up residense during the summer. If I'm not mistaken, he swam up very small creeks and into saltponds to catch his bipedal snacks. I think he ate like five guys!
How's that New Moon Worm Hatch on the backside of Quannie look now?